Okay, Okay I know I’m late— but yesterday was Missy Elliott Appreciation Day.
I missed the twitterverse commenting but I was reading, and 9 to 5 jobbing—I can’t always multitask like ya’ll. Anyway, although I’m a little late, I still want to share my Missy appreciation moment. Can I do that? Okay – thank you!
I remember one time, not too long ago I was sitting in the car with my parents and we were listening to Sirius XM. A Kem song had just gone off, and while they were jammin’ —I of course, sat there uncomfortably, and I was slightly annoyed. No shade to Kem, but it just wasn’t resonating.
That was until Missy Elliot came on. Oh—What song was it, you ask? It was Get Ur Freak On, and my Dad was two seconds away from changing the channel until I yelled, “STOP! THAT’S THE JAM!!!!” He hesitated, but he left it and let me bask in my joy as I was gettin’ it in that back seat.
But you know to be honest, it could’ve been any Missy song. See, that’s my generation, and Missy’s music does something to us that we can’t fully articulate. We can’t explain it when that fire beat goes so hard—that we legit don’t even know that we’re moving. And I don’t know about ya’ll (my millennials) but my stank face goes in overdrive. Because somehow those beats start and they fill your body, and you’re automatically transported into that place and time where you first heard a Missy song—and it’s all uphill from there. I’m listening to her right now and I’m there. I don’t even know what I’m doing, but I’m dancing because Missy’s beats told me to!
Even at Essence Fest this summer—I was really trying to be professional, but when I heard Missy get on that stage, Ya’ll. I lost it—I.LOST.IT. I was straight up like, “Why ya act dumb, like uuuh duuuuuh?! So ya act dumb like uhhh duhhh!” To which the rest of the press ignored me, because they were losing it too.
It’s Because Missy gives us the permission to be who we are—without explanation. Her music makes it okay for us to immediately drop what we’re doing, and live in the present. We are free to be ourselves, we are accepted as we are and we are united in the moment. Her music brings people together.
I can’t tell you how I know all the words to all of her songs, but I know that they’re fire. And I know that they hold a special place in my heart.
My love for Missy started when I was in 4thgrade. This is way before Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and really the mainstream internet for that matter— I would record songs on my tape recorder, and make my own mix tapes. So, I had to listen to the radio, wait for her songs to come on and time it just right to record it, and then I would make sure nobody was making any noise so I could get the full effect. I was committed. Missy was always on all of my mix tapes. From The Rain, to Sock It 2 Me, to Gossip Folks—listen I’m not about to list all of her hit singles because you should already know. The point is—these songs were on my mix tapes and mix cd’s. I loved and STILL love Missy Elliot to this day.
And so, to Missy, I say thank you, I know you’ve heard it, twitter has said it, but in case you need to hear it again, I love your music, and who you are. You made it ok for me, and countless others to beat to a different drum. You made it dope AF for the nerdy/bougie/jocky/preppy/creative black kid millennials to embrace who they are. You also made it cool for this lady to walk in her truth too:
Your music still bops, and you better believe we’re gonna be playing your music for our kids to dance to. We love you. Yesterday may have been your appreciation day, but we see you and we appreciate you every day.